Help from My Friends

Why having friends makes moms stronger

“I don’t know where I would be without my friends,” exclaimed a mother as we sat poolside while our kids took swimming lessons. Her comment sent my imagination roaming as I tried to envision how my life would play out without friends.

My friends listen to me. They’re interested in my thoughts about parenting. Whether they agree or not, they care about what concerns me. They tell me what they think. They’re like boomerangs. They catch my concerns about mothering and send them back to me—much lighter than when I sent them out.

For moms, friends are especially important because they help us to stand strong as we make our way on the shifting stepping stones of motherhood. True friends love us without makeup, thin or lugging a few extra pounds, happy or sad. They find value in us in ways that have nothing to do with how we look or how we mother.  Friends help us to be better than we are. They brainstorm with us as we try to figure out what’s best for our kids and our families. They show us the buried treasures we hold within and make us want to cultivate our talents. They encourage us when we fail and love us all the more for being human.

Friends understand that sometimes moms just need to talk—to let loose the feverish thoughts that would otherwise burn holes in our brains. Friends give us a flameproof place to set down our words—a place for them to cool.

I’m undeservedly blessed with a few good friends from the various places I’ve lived. But I’m uniquely grateful for those in Georgetown. We have carpooled and scouted out bargains from HEB and Wolf Ranch for one another. My friends have brought me meals when I was sick and picked up my child from school when I couldn’t. We sacrifice for each other but don’t consider it a sacrifice at all. Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work. If one falls down, her friend can help her up.

As important as friendships are, we don’t always make the time to cultivate them. I am sometimes guilty of this neglect and can’t cast the first stone. But I am convinced that I am a better mother when I make time for friends. I am better because I have the camaraderie of others on this journey.

Life gets hectic, no doubt. We’re too busy, too sick, or too shy to invite a friend over; the house is a wreck, and the dog has fleas. But I guarantee that if we put these concerns aside and take time to pursue and cultivate friendships as if our lives depended upon them, we would be all the better for it.

Here are a few ideas for making time for friends despite our hectic lives:

1. Set up a weekly play date.   If you’re taking the little ones to play at the park anyway, why not use this time to stay connected with friends? You can catch up as you watch the kids.

2. Take advantage of Mom’s Day Out.   Some churches have a mother’s day out program where you can leave the kids and take a few hours to have coffee with a friend or do whatever it is you enjoy doing together.

3. MOPS.   The Mothers of Preschoolers organization offers time for moms to get together over breakfast, make crafts, and listen to speakers. Attending is a way to reconnect with friends as you learn together. Check out www.mopsgeorgetown.com.

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